Founded in 1946 at the First Presbyterian Church in Lansdowne, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is one of the oldest community orchestras in the Greater Philadelphia area. Although the talented musicians who form the core of the 75+ members of the LSO come from many walks of life, they all share a strong love of music. Our season runs from October to April. This year the orchestra will present five concerts. The repertoire includes orchestral music from the Baroque through contemporary classics, including time-honored favorites and interesting rarities.
The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra would like to thank everyone who supported the concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata conducted by Martin Knoblauch on Sunday, May 19, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne and the silent auction.
In 1991 Irving Ludwig was appointed music director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. Over the next 20 years his passion and drive molded it into one of most respected community orchestras in the Philadelphia area. He last conducted the LSO in November 2011 and died on March 20, 2012, after a 19-year battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Born in 1928, Irving was the son of Jewish immigrants who had fled the anti-Semitism of pre-World War I Ukraine. He studied violin at the Settlement Music School and often played chamber music with his cousin Jules Eskin, later principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1937, Irving performed the Vivaldi violin concerto for Albert Einstein.
In 1947, Irving began his orchestral career with the National Symphony under Walter Damrosch and, at the age of 20, he was one of the youngest members to join the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 39 years, his tenure interrupted only by the Korean war, when he served as concertmaster of the US Navy Band in Washington, D.C. During his years with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he also taught privately and at the Settlement Music School. Students and colleagues admired him for his humor, deep commitment, and analytic approach to music. His teacher and mentor, the famous violin pedagogue Raphael Bronstein, often noted: “with Ludwig, there is no compromise.”
Music, family, and friends were inextricably linked throughout his life. He taught both of his sons, who are accomplished musicians. Michael, a virtuoso violinist, is an international soloist and concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Mark is a violist in the Boston Symphony and a Holocaust music scholar.
The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will continue to build on the solid foundation laid by Maestro Irving Ludwig.
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